By Jeremy Balan
The difference in Lowell High School’s home opener against Terra Linda of San Rafael was quite clear.
The Cardinals’ plodding hybrid single- and double-wing offense moved the ball sparingly, while Terra Linda tore off yardage in large chunks.
The Trojans (1-0) broke off four plays of 40 yards or more (all were for touchdowns), racked up 409 yards of total offense and scored 26 unanswered points in a 32-8 Terra Linda win.
“We gave up a lot of those big plays,” said Lowell head coach Danny Chan. “This is our first game. I mean, we were just getting in pads a week ago. I still think we should have been ready for this, but we didn’t do the little things.”
Leading the big-play Terra Linda offense was senior running back Austin Koblick, who rushed for a game-high 178 yards on 18 carries and had touchdown runs of 40, 66 and 6 yards.
“Austin ran pretty well today and we didn’t have too much trouble moving the ball on the ground,” said first-year Terra Linda head coach Damon Keeve. “We really felt comfortable up front against them and we blocked really well.”
Lowell (0-1) appeared to be in control for most of the first half and took a 8-6 lead after a 36-yard touchdown run from senior Michael McCarthy late in the first quarter.
McCarthy finished with a team-high 86 yards rushing on 13 carries, splitting time at wingback and quarterback, and also had a 21-yard reception, but the rest of the offense totaled just 87 yards.
“We have two weeks before [our next non-league game against] Tennyson, so this is kind of a feeling-out period,” Chan said. “We looked pretty good in the beginning, but we had a couple of drives stall out and that was it.”
As well as Koblick played throughout, the Trojans put the game away behind the play of senior quarterback Harry Taylor.
Beginning with a 41-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Mike Verby just before the half, allowing the Trojans to pull ahead for good, Taylor completed his final six passes of the game, capped by a 84-yard touchdown toss to Christian Silvestri in the fourth quarter.
After a shaky start, where he was sacked three times in the first half, Taylor finished with 203 yards and two touchdowns on 9-of-12 passing.
TL: 8:25 – Austin Koblick 40-yard run (conversion failed)
L: 3:01 – Michael McCarthy 36-yard run (Paul Cho run on conversion)
TL: 0:41 – Mike Verby 41-yard pass from Harry Taylor (conversion failed)
TL: 11:10 – Koblick 66-yard run (conversion failed)
TL: 0:00 – Koblick 6-yard run (Kyle Barnett pass from Taylor on conversion)
TL: 7:55 – Christian Silvestri 84-yard pass from Taylor (conversion failed)